Apps and Software
Artificial Intelligence

Google's AI search engine will 'anticipate users' needs'

What if my 'needs' always include a hamburger?
By Stan Schroeder  on 
Google app
Codename: Magi. Credit: NurPhoto/Getty Images

When it comes to AI, Google has apparently stopped panicking and started pushing the pace.

According to a new report by The New York Times(opens in a new tab), the company is working on a new, AI-enhanced search engine codenamed Magi. This new search experience will reportedly offer a "far more personalized experience" than what you currently get on Google Search, and it will attempt to "anticipate users' needs."

While the report claims the project is still in an early stage, possible features include a conversational approach to search (think talking to ChatGPT, OpenAI's chatbot which kicked off the recent AI race), with the engine learning from users' previous searches to offer better results in the future. In practice, the service might offer the user a preselected list of things they might want to buy, and topics they might want to research. And just like ChatGPT, Magi might be able to write code at a user's request.

The report says that Google will launch the feature to a limited number of users, initially numbering one million and progressively increasing to 30 million people by the end of the year. It will be available only in the U.S., according to the news outlet, and the reveal might happen in May, with more features coming this fall.

A Google spokesperson told the NYT that the company's "excited about bringing new A.I.-powered features to search, and will share more details soon."

Other AI-enhanced products Google might launch include AI-generated images in Google Image Search results, helping users learn new languages through conversations with a chatbot, and having a chatbot provide more context to a webpage the user is currently on, such as providing a list of activities near an Airbnb rental.

Google's new push into AI products and services comes after Microsoft integrated ChatGPT into its search engine, Bing, with Samsung recently announcing it's looking into making Bing the default search provider on its smartphones. Google launched its own AI chatbot, Bard, in March, to a limited number of users, but hasn't yet integrated it with Google Search.

The fact that Google is working on enhancing its search with AI is no secret. In a recent interview, Google CEO Sundar Pichai confirmed that the company is working on adding generative AI to search, though he did not provide a timeline for launch.

Stan is a Senior Editor at Mashable, where he has worked since 2007. He's got more battery-powered gadgets and band t-shirts than you. He writes about the next groundbreaking thing. Typically, this is a phone, a coin, or a car. His ultimate goal is to know something about everything.


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